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Apr 16th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

A&E

Comedy Strikes Back

Comedy Strikes Back

A resurgence of stand-up comedy brings loads of laughs to Santa Cruz

Whether they’ve been at it for nine weeks or nine years, local stand-up comedians will tell you, trying to draw laughs from a Santa Cruz audience is no walk in the park.

“If you can’t deal with rejection in a way that doesn't permanently crush your spirit, then you shouldn’t get into stand-up,” warns DNA, local comedian, Good Times contributor, and longtime host of The Blue Lagoon’s Thursday Comedy Night. “I’ve seen comedians come off the stage crying—it’s brutal. You’re going to get eaten up and spit out.”

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A&E

Finding Claraty

Finding Claraty

Local art studio offers space for developmentally disabled to shine

Five years ago, Santa Cruz residents Robin Blake and Andy Pereira were searching for a better way to meet the needs of the developmentally disabled. 

Blake, who is developmentally disabled herself, had always admired her mother’s Capitola craft gallery while growing up, but never had the opportunity to create her own art. While Pereira, who ran an agency that provided services for developmentally disabled clients, including Blake, was looking for a way for them to learn more about their own history.

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Theater

Divine and Conquer

Divine and Conquer

Shakespeare Santa Cruz hits one out of the park with ‘Henry V’

Shakespeare Santa Cruz has earned a sterling reputation for presenting the playwright’s classics in a contemporary light that everyone—from the seasoned theatergoer to the Shakespeare novice, and now Game of Thrones fans—can appreciate.

In its latest production, “Henry V,” which runs Aug. 6-Sept. 1 at the majestic Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen, SSC presents the final segment of the trilogy preceded by 2011’s “Henry IV Part One” and 2012’s “Henry IV Part Two.” Though less well known than, say, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare’s “history plays”—if you can get past the dull moniker—have their own share of action, wit and humor.

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A&E

Strange Attractor

Strange Attractor

Johannes Moser and Enrico Chapela’s ‘Magnetar’ is a big draw for Cabrillo Festival goers

When it came time for Mexican composer Enrico Chapela to put together a concerto featuring the electric cello, he drew his inspiration from the source of that instrument’s power: electromagnetic energy. Specifically, he based the music on data from flares produced by three different magnetars, an unusual type of pulsar with the largest magnetic field in existence. After compiling a chart of notes that described the shape of each magnetar’s light, he put his guitar in the traditional C-G-D-A tuning of a cello and jammed some ideas that made use of these materials. The resultant concerto, “Magnetar,” can be heard at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Aug. 10 as part of the 2013 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

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Literature

Boardwalk Odyssey

Boardwalk Odyssey

Editor’s note: Stephen Kessler is the author, most recently of “Scratch Pegasus” (poems, Swan Scythe Press) and “Poems of Consummation” by Vicente Aleixandre (translation, Black Widow Press). He lives in Santa Cruz and is the editor of “The Redwood Coast Review.” "Boardwalk Odyssey" is from a work in progress.

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Literature

Owning up to History

Owning up to History

Novelist weaves local history and fiction as a vehicle for finding truth in ‘The Curse of Santa Cruz’

Stephanie Michel's new novel opens with a character encountering thousands of frenzied birds descending upon Santa Cruz—a depiction of an actual event which took place in 1961. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported on the occurrence, which later became the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 horror film, The Birds. That grizzly scene serves as the precursor to many historic events woven into Michel’s novel, “The Curse of Santa Cruz.”

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Theater

More Than OK

More Than OK

Nearly flawless, Cabrillo Stage’s ‘Oklahoma!’ is musical theater at its finest

Oklahoma!” first opened on Broadway in March of 1943. From its first raised curtain, it was a bona fide hit and managed to run for more than 2,000 performances. Few were surprised—and even fewer minded—that it went on to be revived numerous times thereafter, enjoying national tours and foreign productions. The 1955 film version helped fuel its success, too—it created a real star out of then up-and-coming Shirley Jones. But somewhere as the show evolved, the musical love story set against the easy-breezy plains in 1906—the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (“Carousel,” “The King and I,” “The Sound of Music”)—managed to illuminate what it meant to be an American and, perhaps, what it is that makes us human.

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Theater

Love Match

Love Match

Laughter and love reign in SSC’s gorgeous ‘Taming of the Shrew’

Shakespeare Santa Cruz launches its 2013 season with a crowd-pleasing, often uproarious production of “The Taming of the Shrew.” The company has a newly rebuilt and reconfigured performance space to show off in the Sinsheimer/Stanley Festival Glen, with cleaner aisles and better sightlines for the audience (although to the lay viewer, nothing appears to be radically altered), and they inaugurate it in style with this visually gorgeous production.

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Theater

Child’s Play

Child’s Play

Inside the mind of the ‘Weird Al of children’s theater'

Often referred to as the “Weird Al of children’s theater,” Janinne Chadwick has spent the better part of the last 13 years rewriting traditional fairytales and folktales with a contemporary twist, and bringing them to life onstage.

Her most recent project, “Alice’s Avengers in Underland”—think “Alice in Wonderland” meets the 1960s Batman television series—will open Little People’s Repertory Theatre’s summer season, July 25-Aug. 4 at Park Hall in Ben Lomond.

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Theater

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

A young man and a state come of age in ‘Oklahoma!’

La Cage Aux Folles”—the first of three Cabrillo Stage musicals to grace Crocker Theater this summer—transported audiences to the south of France. But beginning this weekend, audiences will journey to the prairies of the American South for Richard Rodgers’ and Oscar Hammerstein’s 1943 landmark musical, “Oklahoma!” The play tells a story of young love and growth that mirrors the historical marriage of Oklahoma with the United States in 1907.

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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.